Digital Collections -> Pathfinders -> Many Roads to Freedom -> Timeline


1700's 1790's First settlers to arrive in what is now Rochester include African Americans  
1800's 1818 Colonel Nathaniel Rochester comes to Rochester with his freed slaves  
    Austin Steward buys land in Rochester; becomes a merchant  
  1827 Slaves in New York State are emancipated  
    Steward delivers Emancipation Day speech on July 5  
    A.M.E. Zion Church is organized in Rochester  
  1830's Rochester becomes known for its Underground Railroad havens  
  1831 Austin Steward leaves Rochester for Canada to help establish emigrants in the Wilberforce community  
  1833 Great Britain passes Abolition of Slavery Act  
  1834 Abolitionist paper Rights of Man is begun by William C. Bloss  
  1838 Mount Hope Cemetery is dedicated; becomes graveyard of abolitionists, suffragists, and Civil War soldiers, among others  
  1839 Abolitionist paper Rochester Freeman is begun by Myron Holley  
  1841 Death of Myron Holley  
  1847 Frederick Douglass moves to Rochester; launches North Star abolitionist newspaper  
  1848 Douglass attends Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls  
    Northern Freeman abolitionist paper is published by Butts & Merrell  
  1849 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is published in Boston  
  1850 Fugitive Slave Law is passed  
  1851 North Star is renamed Frederick Douglass' Paper  
  1854 Julia Griffiths' book Autographs for Freedom is published in Auburn  
  1855 My Bondage and My Freedom by Douglass is published in Auburn  
  1856 The Harp of Freedom by George Washington Clark is published  
  1857 St. Mary's Hospital opens, later becomes first local hospital to accept Civil War wounded  
    Rochester public schools are desegregated  
  1858 The Irrepressible Conflict, a speech by William H. Seward, is delivered at Rochester's Corinthian Hall October 25th  
  1859 John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry occurs; Brown accomplice and Rochester abolitionist Shields Green is captured and hanged  
    Douglass flees to England to avoid capture as John Brown's accomplice  
  1860 Douglass returns home  
  1861 Southern states secede  
    Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated  
    Fort Sumter is attacked  
    First groups of New York State Volunteers are organized  
  1863 Battle of Gettysburg; local hero Colonel Patrick O'Rorke is killed in battle  
    Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation  
  1864 Rochester City Hospital opens and begins to accept wounded soldiers  
  1865 Civil War ends with the Surrender at Appomattox  
    Lincoln is assassinated  
  1867 Twenty-two years a Slave by Steward is published  
  1872 Douglass' home on South Avenue burns; the family takes up residence in Washington, D.C.  
  1886 Wonderful Eventful Life of Rev. Thomas James is published  
  1892 Dedication of Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Square Park is attended by President Benjamin Harrison, many others  
  1895 Death of Frederick Douglass -- funeral and burial take place in Rochester  
1900's 1906 Death of Susan B. Anthony  
  1947 Last G.A.R. veteran in New York State (at age 106) is celebrated in Rochester as the organization's New York chapter closes. He donates the local chapter's roster to the City of Rochester and Rochester Public Library